To develop an exponential ‘growth mindset’ will be an asset to an employee or a person having one’s own business. Especially if they have an intense need to innovate, adapt, and build-up in this fast, disruptive and globalised market. It is the need of the hour in leadership development programs and personality enhancement workshops. The exponential ‘growth mindset’ makes you think big time, assuming ‘everything is possible for you’. When you think exponentially, like having a 10X target, it pushes you beyond your limits to take massive action. It gives you amazing clarity and changes the way you do business.
With a ‘fixed mindset,’ the tendency is to think that you are born with a certain fixed potential which can change incrementally over a period of time. The things you grew up telling yourself made you believe them to be true and they became part of your belief system. Often, it is the fear of failure that limits your thinking, behaviour and actions. Carol Dweck, the author of the book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, explains that a “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens that we can’t change in any meaningful way. However, a ‘growth mindset’ thrives on challenge and sees failure “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
In this context, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) works very well to fuel the ‘growth mindset’. NLP is the art and science of excellence and models the patterns of human behaviour. It explores how your mind works – your past experiences create the beliefs in you, which you consider as your reality, and this impacts your thoughts, behaviour, words, and action. Making the change at the belief level can completely alter your perceptions and reality, and this is what NLP teaches you.
To develop an Exponential ‘Growth Mindset’ requires creativity and expansive thinking
Suppose that you assume beyond bounds and fears that everything is possible and how would you like it to be. NLP uses the Disney technique which is modeled on the method used by Walt Disney where he used his creativity and turned his ideas into reality in the form of animated films.
Disney used 3 styles of thinking –
- Day Dreaming,
- Planning, and being
- Constructively Critical.
The difference here was that Disney used these styles sequentially whereas, most people use all 3 styles at the same time which often causes confusion in thinking and dilutes the objective. The Disney Strategy focuses on each of these styles individually until you get deeper perspectives and then moves to the next. This strategy creates a greater focus on the goal to make you believe it to be true.
A ‘growth mindset’ triggers massive action. Often, the action is determined by the skills you possess and your motivation and self-belief to make it happen. Your Beliefs and Values drive everything you do and are often the major difference between success and failure of reaching goals. Negative thoughts could enter your mind while approaching a lofty goal, and at times, you might even doubt your abilities to make it happen.
We could call these as limiting beliefs running in your mind due to past occurrences, which limit your progress. Your Values are what is important to you and what you think of as right and wrong, and these values drive everything you do – the choices you make, the decisions you take, your emotions and the way you think. NLP explains how you can alter your beliefs and align your values towards achieving your goal, and this can create a major ‘shift’ in the mindset and behaviour.
Implementing the exponential ‘growth’ strategy
Often, the focus here is largely on the skills and capabilities of the teams, the tools and infrastructure that is required. However, when you embark on an exponential growth strategy, it is equally important to have the right type of teams, and people who are willing to work on their beliefs, their values and identity which align with the overall objective. The change from an ‘incremental growth’ to an ‘exponential growth’ requires a change of attitude, and it is important that the entire team is aligned to it. NLP provides an extremely effective framework called the Neurological Levels of Change, which defines 6 levels of change that happens in a person, such as your purpose, identity, beliefs, values, capabilities, behaviour and environment, and provides you with the visibility where specifically change can best be made to achieve the desired result.
“You are always more than what you think you are…….HUNA” has been my favourite proverb, and signifies that each one of us has the ability to perform beyond what we always thought was possible. To develop an exponential ‘growth mindset’, this could not be further from the truth.
Disney used 3 styles of thinking – Day Dreaming, Planning, and being Constructively Critical.